No upgrades on B1 road yet

23 Feb 2014 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 23 FEB (NAMPA) – The upgrade of B1 road between Windhoek and Okahandja into a dual carriageway has not yet started.
Work on the road was supposed to commence on 13 January 2014.
Manager for Corporate Communications at the Roads Authority (RA) Hileni Fillemon told Nampa on Thursday the delay was due to the late issuance of a performance guarantee from the contractor’s bank, as this is a requirement before civil work can commence on site.
“The contractor is busy mobilising his team even though physical progress cannot be observed on site,” she said.
Fillemon noted that the contract for construction commenced on 13 January, and the contractor is usually given 28 days to mobilse his team before he commences with the actual work on site.
“This implies that the physical work should have started by 14 February 2014, however due to the reasons mentioned, a delay was experienced,” she said.
The RA added that the original tendered sum for construction is N.dollars 239 million, but it will now change due to a change in scope – the dual lanes were supposed to end at the Police roadblock, about 30 kilometres north of Windhoek, but will now include 78 kilometres until north and west of Okahandja.
The RA could however not give the realistic estimates until field investigations are complete.
Fillemon added that in order to upgrade the Windhoek-Okahandja road to freeway standards, the road has to be subdivided into four sections, which will be constructed in phases. Phase One will commence with Section Three – the upgrade to a dual carriageway between Windhoek and Okahandja.
The project starts from the small circle on Auas Road in Windhoek (on the B1 road to the south of the country) and ends at Okahandja. However, it will be re-aligned to pass to the west of Okahandja and link directly to the B1 route towards Otjiwarongo and the B7 route to the west towards Karibib.
Section One of the upgrade will run between the Auas road and Sam Nujoma Drive (MR52), where a second carriageway will be added, while Section Two, which is currently a dual carriageway between Sam Nujoma Drive and Brakwater, will be repaired to extend its lifespan for 30 more years.
Section Four will continue with the freeway all the way to Okahandja, passing Okahandja via the Okahandja Western Bypass, linking the existing road to Otjiwarongo and Karibib.
In addition to the dual carriageway, upgrade on the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport road; Windhoek to Rehoboth road; Swakopmund to Walvis Bay road, and the Omuthiya to Ondangwa road into dual carriageways is also underway.
Construction of Section Three of the dual carriageway between Windhoek and Okahandja is expected to be completed within 15 months.